Shifting Perspectives to Education – Part 1
Posted on: August 30, 2019.

Author: Mrs. Radhika Mohan, Educational Consultant

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Begins Elizabeth Deuley, “Human society is currently going through a phase of rapid change, and if that change is to have a positive outcome for the future, one place to pour our energy and love is in the care and education of our children”. She explains why we are evaluating our current outdated educational paradigms and what is possible through the emerging paradigms of the 21st century.

Also, what questions we need to ask to move forward.

Today, everywhere in the  world, public education is changing. We are living in times of revolution, and there are many reasons for this revolution – the pace of societal changes, economic drivers, technology, the critical nature of our relationship with our planet, the shift in understanding the needs of our children and their place in society, and the expansion of consciousness that humanity is currently undergoing.

But most importantly, it is our children themselves who need something different. Many are bored at school, or worse, unhappy, medicated, or unmotivated. Why? It’s time we asked them. Are we catering to their needs? As Tagore once said, “Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in a different time”. This is so relevant today. Educators have been working on this issue from different angles, especially during the last 150 years. Here are just a few of their thoughts:

Life is Education – In the early 20th century, Austrian mystic and philosopher, Rudolf Steiner, while developing his approach to Education, said, “Education is an Art – it must speak to the child’s experience. To educate the whole child, his heart and his will must be reached, as well as his mind.” Steiner further added, “We need to learn that each new day and each new year offers continual revelation.” In other words, Life is Education.

Swami Vivekananda said, “What is education? It is book learning? No. Then is it ‘diverse learning’. Not even that. The training by which the current expressions of will are brought under control and become fruitful, is called Education.”

He continues, “Now consider this: is that education, as a result of which the will-power, being continuously checked by forces through generations, is being completely killed? Is that education, under whose sway, even the old ideas, let alone new ones, are disappearing, one-by-one? Is that education which is slowly making man a machine?”

Conclusively, Swami Vivekananda says, “It is more blessed, in my opinion, even go to wrong, impelled by one’s free will and intelligence, than to be as good as an automaton. Again, can that be called society, which is formed by an aggregate of men who are like lumps of clay, like lifeless machines, like heaped-up pebbles? How can such a society fare well?”

…continued in the next part

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